Black Hole

The first picture of a black hole was published! In actuality, the black hole is totally black, so it’s really a photo of the event horizon.

First photo of a black hole! PC: NSF

A black hole is formed from a death of a very large star, a star that is 25x the size of our sun. When a star runs out of fuel it collapses on itself. The inside implodes and becomes ultra dense. The core of the sun then gives in to its own gravitational pull and collapses in on itself, forming a black hole.

To get this photo of a black hole, eight telescopes around the world were synchronized in observations over the course of 10 days. Researchers barely slept during this time. The telescopes used radio waves which can cut through thick dust and bright haze of superheated gases that are in our galaxy.

The back hole we took a photo of is is 57 million light years away (really far). This is what earth looked like when the photos that made the photo left the black hole!! Crazy to think about the speed of light and what we know about our solar system.

Reconstruction of what the earth looked like 57 million years ago, when the photons left the black hole.
PC: Deep time maps

Dr. Katie Bouman helped created algorithm that lead to the first photo of a black hole. She developed it while a PhD student at MIT– she is 29yo and now faculty at CalTech. Women in STEM!!